Khalid Ali couldn't hide delight after winning start against Dean Wilkinson
- Credit: Stephen Dunkley (Round 'N' Bout Media) for Frank Warren Queensberry Promotions
Khalid Ali just couldn't hide his delight after making a winning start to his professional career in front of live BT Sports cameras on Friday.
The flamboyant 20-year-old welterweight from Tower Hamlets registered an impressive fourth round stoppage over fellow debutant Dean Wilkinson at Copper Box Arena, Hackney Wick on the undercard of Frank Warren and Queensbury Promotions opening 'Fight Night Live: The Prospects' series.
Middleton-based Wilkinson was unable to respond to the wild flowing hooks from his East London opponent as the fourth round progressed, prompting referee Chas Coakley to halt the bout in 1:26.
Ali, who like his father Wolid Ali were both former reps at Repton ABC, was due to make his debut on the following evening but the whole bill was scrapped after main attraction Sunny Edwards suffered an ankle injury while preparing for his IBF world flyweight title defence against Jayson Mama.
However promoter Frank Warren and his Queensberry Promotions team were eagerly keen to showcase Ali on their new Friday night venture with their broadcasting partner BT Sport.
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"I got told this is my chance," he said. "How many fighters go on BT Sport on their pro debut at peak time 8.30pm. It was important to take my chance. I've could have done a lot more but I'm proud of myself and that what matters."
Even as this was his first fight in the paid ranks the confident talking Ali, who has Bangladeshi and Nigerian heritage, was not afraid to reward himself a low mark in his own honest assessment.
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"I need to get my ring rust off, that's more important," he added. "I know I can box better. I gave that performance a D plus because I stopped him. Other than that it was OK. I've had better spars but I've done the big job on the big stage with the bright lights and thats all that counts.
"In the changing rooms I was relaxed, I was cool, I was dancing. I'm built for this but I don't want to talk too much. Let's just take baby steps, just one step at a time and we'll see where this takes us.
"Khalid Ali brings power, class and speed. Those three combinations are dangerous."
Other local prospects that also featured on last Friday's bill saw Hackney super-featherweight Frank Arnold register his first knock out victory over Tipton's Lee Glover in his eight fight career.
Ilford super-bantamweight prospect Umar Khan moved to two straight victories after the 19-year-old scored a four round 40-36 shut out over experienced Hull journeyman Luke Fash.